Rev. Robert Leeper, grandfather of Hon. Arthur A. Leeper, is supposed to have been a native of Kentucky. He removed form that State to Illinois in 1829, and entered a tract of Government land, a portion of which is now included in the village of Chandlerville, being one of the first settlers there. He at once built a log house, and began the improvement of his land. He erected the first grist mill ever build in that locality. He operated the mill, superintended the improvement of his land, and resided there until his death.
William D. Leeper was twelve years old when his parents moved to Illinois. The greater portion of the State was at that time unsettled, and deer, wild turkeys and other game were plentiful in this vicinity. It was long before the railroads entered this section of the country, and for many years Beardstown was the market and depot for supplies for miles around. He entered a tract of Government land that joined his father's farm on the east, located on it at the time of his marriage, and passed his life there dying in 1866. The maiden name of his first wife, mother of the subject of our sketch, was Mary Runyan. She was born in Kentucky, and died in 1857. His second wife, previously Maria Hermeyer, was born in Germany.
In the public schools of Chandlerville, Arthur A. received his early education. At the age of sixteen he entered Eureka College, and graduated with the class of 1874. He then entered the law department of Iowa University, graduating in 1875. Returning to Chandlerville, he opened an office and practiced his profession there until the fall of 1876, when he came to Virginia, where he has since practiced.
September 18, 1878, he married Eva Howe, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Rufus and Eva (Miller) Howe. They have two children: Mabel and Alice.
Politically, Mr. Leeper is a Democrat. He cast his first vote for Samuel J. Tilden. In 1876, he was elected State's Attorney for Cass county, and filled that position until 1880. He has served as City Attorney three years, and was School Director three years. In 1885 he was the nominee of his party for member of the House of Representatives. This was the time of the memorable contest which finally resulted in the election of John A. Logan to eh United States Senate. The Republican made a still hunt in this campaign, and Mr. Leeper was defeated. He was re-nominated, however, in 1888, for State Senator, and was elected, serving through two sessions. He was one of the 101 who voted continually for John M. Palmer. Among the various committees on which he served, we mention the following: Special Drainage, Insurance and Judiciary, Highways and Bridges, Judicial Department, Corporations, Canals and Rivers, Labor and Manfactures, Rules, State Charities, License and Miscellaneous, and County and Township organizations. He faithfully performed the duties of his responsible position, his efficient work being recognized and highly appreciated by his constituents. He was re-nominated for Senator in April, 1892.
Fraternally, he is a member of Virginia Lodge No. 554, A.F. & A.M., and Saxon Lodge, No. 68, I.O.G.T.